2022 ends as ‘unprecedented’ warmest year in 107 years in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
warmer than normal

2022 will end as a year so hot that ‘there is no precedent’ in 107 years in Spain, according to Spanish weather service AEMET. After a ‘historically’ hot autumn and the third driest autumn of the century, winter will also be warmer than normal.

Especially in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and the eastern peninsula, it will be warmer than normal. No significant differences are predicted for precipitation. If winter ends up as a warm period, it would be the third consecutive ‘warmer-than-normal’ season. Something that will have occurred for the first time since data has been kept, with a warmer-than-normal summer and autumn.   

It is the first time Spain has had two consecutive warmer seasons. As apart from summer, autumn was also warmer across the country. Especially in the eastern part of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands, autumn was almost an extension of summer.  

Warm autumn 

AEMET spokesman Rubén del Campo said the average autumn temperature was 16.3 degrees Celsius (ºC),  This is 2 ºC higher than the average for the 1981-2010 reference period, making it the warmest autumn in the historical series, along with 1983.  

September was warm with 0.6 ºC higher than average. October was the warmest in the historical series at 3.6 ºC above average. Meanwhile November was very warm, with a positive difference from the average of 1.9 ºC.  Autumn had few days that were less warm than normal for the season and no cold spells were recorded. 


Regarding precipitation, del Campo reported that this autumn has been “very dry”. In fact it was the third driest of the century, with 24% less precipitation than normal. Yet, in the entire historical series, there have been 13 times an autumn that was even drier than last autumn. September and October were dry, while November was “normal” but with 24% less precipitation than average.   

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Autumn was wetter than normal in Galicia, southern Castile and Leon, Aragon and parts of Andalucia. In the Canary Islands, tropical storm ‘Hermine’ dropped the most rain in just four days. Thus making autumn in the archipelago wetter than normal.  

Record year 

Moreover, 2022 is the warmest year since records are kept in Spain, where the average temperature exceeded 15ºC for the first time in the whole country. Del Campo pointed out that 2022 – expected to reach an average temperature of 15.3ºC, which is 1.6ºC warmer than normal, something he described as unprecedented.   

‘It is by far the warmest year in the historical series. The warmest year in at least 107 years,’ he stressed. During the year, especially from May onwards, there have been numerous warm spells and only one cold one, in early April. ‘Thirty days of record heat and only two days of record cold in the whole year,’ del Campo concluded.   


On the other hand, the meteorological drought was not resolved in the autumn and, in fact, del Campo stressed that at the end of November, Spain was about to enter a situation of socio-economic drought, which occurs after three consecutive years of low rainfall, or prolonged drought. In fact, 2022 will be one of the driest years since records have been kept.   

However, the rains in the first two weeks of the climate winter that began on 1 December partly, but not completely, eased the situation. For instance, the hydrological year – which began on October 1 – saw an accumulated water deficit of 23%  until November 29, but since then, until December 19, the situation has reversed and there has been a precipitation surplus of 4%. In any case, it needs to continue raining abundantly throughout the winter to solve the drought.  

Over the whole year, it has rained 16% less than normal. So far, 2022 is the third driest calendar year since records have been kept, although Del Campo is convinced that the final rains will still affect the rankings and the year is likely to finish among the 10 driest in history. 

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